Rhizomes, 30: Quantum Possibilities: The Work of Karen Barad (2016)

4 August 2016, dusan

“In the past decade, Karen Barad’s oeuvre, especially the voluminous Meeting the Universe Halfway (2007), has attracted increasingly great attention in feminist philosophy, cultural studies and feminist science studies. Alongside scholars like Elizabeth Wilson and Vicki Kirby, she has spearheaded the recent feminist exploration of complex scientific issues, and presented new less categorical ways of thinking ontology and epistemology (or indeed onto-epistemology as she refers to it) as a result. Many of the terms introduced and developed by Barad, such as ‘intra-action’, ‘diffraction’ and ‘agential realism’ have shifted the standard metrics of knowledge production and her theories have inspired animated discussion in emerging critical strands as varied as the new materialism in feminism, object oriented ontology, post- and transhumanism, speculative realism, environmental and digital humanities, among others. In a critical climate that is becoming increasingly ‘Baradian’, this special issue on the ‘Quantum Possibilities’ of Barad’s work does not merely aim to reflect the engagements currently being made within these fields, but extends Barad’s ethos of continually rethinking our critical concepts and methodologies ‘without taking these distinctions to be foundational or holding them in place’. Creating ‘diffractive’, or new ‘quantum level’ means of reflecting on, and engaging with Barad’s work, the essays collected here stake out a new set of directions for their wide array of disciplinary identities.”

With essays by Joseph Rouse, Evelien Geerts and Iris van der Tuin, Rebekah Sheldon, Kathrin Thiele, Hanna Meißner, Andie Elizabeth Shabbar, Ulf Mellström, Martin Savransky, Dorothea Olkowski, Graham Harman, Levi R. Bryant, Rick Dolphijn, Katie King, Ino Mamic, and Myra J. Hird.

Edited by Karin Sellberg & Peta Hinton
Published 12 July 2016
Open access
ISSN 1555-9998


Robert Rosen: Essays on Life Itself (1999)

15 July 2015, dusan

“In this collection of twenty-two essays, Rosen takes to task the central objective of the natural sciences, calling into question the attempt to create objectivity in a subjective world. The book opens with an exploration of the interaction between biology and physics, unpacking Schrödinger´s famous text What Is Life? and revealing the shortcomings of the notion that artificial intelligence can truly replicate life.

He also refutes the thesis that mathematical models of reality can be reflected entirely in algorithms, that is, are of a purely syntactical character. He argues that it is the noncomputable, nonformalizable nature of biology that makes organisms complex, and that these systems are generic, whereas those systems described by reductionistic reasoning are simple and rare.

An intriguing enigma links all of the essays: ‘How can science explain the unpredictable?'”

Publisher Columbia University Press, 1999
Complexity in Ecological Systems series
ISBN 023110510X, 9780231105101
x+360 pages

Reviews: Bruce J. West (Quarterly Review of Biology, 2001), Donald C. Mikulecky (c1999).



Edgar Morin: Method, vol. 1: The Nature of Nature (1977–) [PT, EN, ES]

9 February 2015, dusan

Method: The Nature of Nature is the first of several volumes exposing Edgar Morin’s general systems view on life and society. The present volume maintains that the organization of all life and society necessitates the simultaneous interplay of order and disorder. All systems, physical, biological, social, political and informational, incessantly reshape part and whole through feedback, thereby generating increasingly complex systems. For continued evolution, these simultaneously complementary, concurrent, and antagonistic systems require a priority of love over truth, of subject over object, of Sy-bernetics over cybernetics.”

First published in French as La Méthode, t. 1: La Nature de la nature, 1977.

English edition
Translated and Introduced by J.L. Roland Bélanger
Publisher Peter Lang, 1992
ISBN 0820418781
435 pages

Interview with Morin by his translator Ana Sánchez, 2011
Publisher (EN)
WorldCat (EN)

O método 1. A natureza da natureza (Portuguese, trans. Maria Gabriela de Bragança, 2nd ed., c1987, 12 MB)
Method, 1: The Nature of Nature (English, trans. J.L. Roland Bélanger, 1992, 17 MB)
El método 1. La naturaleza de la naturaleza (Spanish, trans. Ana Sánchez and Dora Sánchez García, 2001, 4 MB)